China's tourism trade surplus is expected to increase as the country takes in more cash from inbound visitors than its outbound travelers spend overseas, according to the country's tourism industry watchdog.
The inbound tourism market has emerged from the downturn following the global financial crisis and has grown continuously in the past few years, the China National Tourism Administration said in a statement on Monday.
The country's outbound tourism industry has entered a stage of slower growth after experiencing rapid expansion, the statement said.
Inbound tourism revenue rose 5.6 percent year-on-year to $120 billion in 2016, exceeding outbound tourism spending by $10.2 billion, according to administration figures.
In the first half of this year, inbound tourists made 69.5 million trips; 62 million Chinese tourists went overseas, the statement said.
Both the number of inbound trips and revenue generated have increased steadily since 2014, it said.
China has vowed to develop tourism into a major driver for economic transformation and upgrading by 2020.
The administration predicted that direct investment in tourism this year will jump by more than 20 percent from last year to 1.5 trillion yuan ($223 billion).
In 2016, China's tourism revenue was 4.69 trillion yuan, about 11 percent of the national economy.